My Art & Science


The history of science is a frequent subject of my relief prints including portraits of scientists and innovators, depicted with their most important contributions and discoveries.  This art is a means of science communication. I am interested in Cabinets of Curiosity (or wonder - the wunderkammer) kept by avid amateurs from the Renaissance up until 19th century. People had huge collections of natural wonders: rocks, gems, fossils, butterflies, shells, bones, all sorts of plants and animals, real and imaginary. Science and magic were still intertwined. These collections both fostered myth (such as narwhal horns passed off as unicorn) and the development of descriptive science (including geology, paleontology, botany and zoology). My subjects make up my own wunderkammer, filled with flora and fauna (both real and imaginary).  I blend my art with my love of science and a tribute to the development of descriptive science the curiosity cabinet represents. I am fascinated by myth, fairytales, and symbols. If the cabinet of curiosity represents a sort of proto-science, the myth is like the proto-story, the basis for the stories we tell again and again in different ways.

I also explore issues of biodiversity, species at risk and climate change in my work.

I work primarily as a printmaker, making relief prints employing linoleum and wood. I print linocuts by hand using traditional Japanese woodblock tools on Japanese paper.  Some of my work also incorporates screen-printing, painting, sculpture and multimedia. Prints and multimedia work are also often interactive, incorporating colour-changing or electrically conductive inks and electronics, which straddle the art/science divide.

things from secret minouette places

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Art Shows 

These are a Few of Our Favourite Bees, Campbell House Museum, Toronto, June 22-July 16, 2022

Urban Wildlife: Learning to Co-Exist, hosted by Creature Conserve, ArtProvGallery, Rhode Island, October, 2018 and touring show

Curious Fauna, Upstairs Gallery, Toronto, September, 2018

Interstitial: Innovations by Canadian Women, Curiosity Collider, Beaumont Studios, Vancouver, June, 2018

UnNatural History, T.E.S.T. Gallery, Toronto, October, 2017

Love All Bodies, T.E.S.T. Gallery, Toronto, August, 2017

Canada 150, T.E.S.T. Gallery, Toronto, July 2017

‘Bees (& the Birds)’ group show at T.E.S.T. Gallery, Toronto, June, 2017

Life as we know it,  Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, TX, May, 2017

Wunderkammer, T.E.S.T. Gallery, Toronto, May 2017

‘Bees (& the Birds)’ group show at Graven Feather gallery, Toronto, May 18 - 29, 2016

COSMIC, Art.Science.Gallery’s Printmakers Explore the Cosmos for PrintAustin 2016, Austin, TX, 2016
16th International Print Exhibition at PROOF Studio Gallery Celebrating The Chinese Year of the Monkey,
Toronto, 2016

From Mountains to Sea, effects of climate change show at Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, TX, 2015

Bees (& the Birds)group show at Graven Feather gallery, Toronto, 2015

Terra Nova & Friends Exhibit at Art at Artisans At Work, Toronto, 2015

X Marks the Spot, group exhibit at Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, TX, 2014
'Go Ahead and Do It: Portraits of women in Science, Technology, Engineering,and Mathematics', a group exhibit at Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, TX, 2014

IMPRESSI, science themed group print show, Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, TX, 2014

Year of the Salamander, group art show, Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, TX, 2014

14th International Print Exhibition and Exchange at PROOF Studio Gallery Celebrating The Chinese Year ofthe Goat 2015

13th International Print Exhibition and Exchange at PROOF Studio Gallery Celebrating The Chinese Year ofthe HORSE 2014

In the Round, group show at Graven Feather gallery, 906 Queen Street West, Toronto, November 1 to 30, 2013

Etsy Showcase at Fall Home Show, Booth #328, Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, October 3 to 6, 2013

'It's Better With Bees' Bee Biodiversity Exhibit at the Ball's Falls Conservation Centre in Jordan Station, Ontario, March 31 to July 1, 2013

500th Anniversary Mercator Exhibit, Mercatormuseum in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, 2012

Mini Print International - Asia Pacific. No Vacancy Gallery (QV), Melbourne, Australia, April 2-16th, 2012.

'The Year of the Dragon' International Print Exhibition, PROOF Studio Gallery, Distillery District, Studio 104, Bldg. 74, Case Goods Warehouse, Toronto, January 26 - February 12, 2012

'The Year of the Rabbit' International Print Exhibition, PROOF Studio Gallery, Distillery District, Studio 104, Bldg. 74, Case Goods Warehouse, Toronto, February 2- 13, 2011

'A Hidden Place' group art show at 1254Art, 1254 Dundas St. W., Toronto, Ontario, December, 2010

'The Collective' group show at Triangle Gallery, 38 Abell St., Toronto, December 2-14, 2010

'The Year of the Tiger' International Print Exhibition, PROOF Studio Gallery, Distillery District, Studio 104, Bldg. 74, Case Goods Warehouse, Toronto, February 13 & 14, 2010

"Toronto vs Nagoya artfight" group show at the Creater's Market, Nagoya, Japan, December 6-7, 2008

Craft Shows/Pop-ups

Toronto Etsy Street Team 6th Annual Midsummer Market, June 18th, 2016, at the Campbell House, Toronto

Etsy: Made In Canada, Toronto Edition at MaRS, September 26, 2015, MaRS Atrium, 101 College St at University Ave.

One of a Kind Show and Sale, December, 2014
Etsy pop-up, Huntclub gallery, November, 2014, 709 College St

Etsy: Made In Canada, Toronto Edition at MaRS, September 27, 2014 from 10 - 4, MaRS Atrium, 101 College St at University Ave.

Toronto Etsy Street Team 5th Annual Spring Marketplace, June 7th, 2014 at the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave @ College St., 11 am to 5:00 pm
Toronto Etsy Street Team 1st Annual Christmas Marketplace, December 14th, 2013 at the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave @ College St., 11 am to 5:30 pm

 Shop Cats Pop-Up Shop at the 707 Market, Scadding Court, at 707 Dundas St W, Toronto, Saturday, September 28,  2013

The 4th Annual Toronto Etsy Street Team Springtime Marketpalce, 518 Bathurst Centre, Toronto, Saturday, June 1, 2013

One of A Kind Spring Show, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto, March 27-31, 2013

Movies and Makers, Fox Theatre Toronto, Saturday December 15, 2012

Wandering Winter Craft Show, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W, Toronto, Sunday, December 9th, 21012

Wandering Winter Craft Show, Magic Pony, Toronto, Saturday November 24th 11 am to 7 pm & Sunday November 25th 12 pm to 6 pm

Queen West Art Crawl, Etsy Tent, Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Toronto, Saturday, September 15, 2012

T.E.S.T. 3rd Annual "Spring" Handmade Market, Triangle Gallery, Toronto, July 21st from 11 AM to 5 PM, 2012

The Toronto Etsy Street Team Spring Craft Show The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, Saturday April 30th, 2011, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

A Spring Handmade Market, Saturday May 16th, 2009, The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. West, Toronto

Hibiscus and Rosehips, Charity Fundraiser for Lymphoma, Resistor Gallery at College and Spadina in Toronto, April 21, 2009

Other Blog

magpie&whiskeyjack is a record of things I've found which intrigue me and things I find beautiful, with a focus on the fertile intersection of art and science.


Chapter 10, Death by Shakespeare
Chapter illustrations for Death by Shakespeare by Kathryn Harkup, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020

Phylo Women in Science and Engineering Cards
Portraits for the Phylo Women Science and Engineering Starter Deck, 2017

Good Health Magazine, December 2014, series of 12 Chinese Zodiac prints

Galapagos Designs linocut
Galapagos Designs, May, 2013, logo design

Arrow and Era, April, 2013, logo design

Physics World, September 2012, cover art

Gou: The Dog, 11th in Chinese Zodiac
Animal Planet TV show Too Cute, to be aired early 2013

foxcard mock-up
UBC's Science Creative Quarterly’s ‘The Phylomon Project’, 2010


My homepage for my marine geophysical research is under construction, but here are some resources for interested non-scientists:

NEPTUNE Canada Go-live Webcast. NEPTUNE Canada is the world's largest, cabled seafloor observatory. I am involved in the creating sub-seafloor imaging experiments to monitor a gas hydrate deposit at the Bullseye Vent, offshore Vancouver Island. In the web-cast, I explain on-camera what this work is all about.

Energy from Gas Hydrates: Assessing the Opportunities and Challenges. The Canadian Council of Academies gathered a Gas Hydrate Expert Panel (myself included) to answer the Government of Canada's questions about the potential of employing natural-occurring gas hydrate deposits as an alternate energy source. At the link, you can find the complete report as well as the report in focus.

Der Schwarm: A Geoscientific Page-Turner is a book review I wrote about a German best seller (translated as The Swarm) for Inkling Magazine, a cool on-line popular science magazine, especially for young women.

A big thank you to all sources which have featured my work, including:
Toronto Craft Alert
Piratas de Ikea
Apartment Therapy
Casa Sugar
CRAFT magazine blog
Rethink and Reuse
Physiology News (Mad Scientists Of Etsy article)
Printsy blog
MSOE blog
The Storque (Trans-Canada Etsy team)
JellyBeans Art
Trans-Canada Etsy Team Blog
The Urban Craft Center
Tanis Alexis Blog
A Handmade Market Toronto
Ikea Hacker
Pimp My Schweden Möbel
Toronto Etsy Street Team blog
Tales from the Microbial Laboratory
Physics Buzz
The Storque
The Collective
Okyo Love
Okyo Blog Interview
Adafruit Blog
City of Craft blog
Etsy News Blog: Toronto Meet-Up
Etsy Blog Short Stories: Madame Wu
QUEST science and environment blog for KQED, San Francisco: "Women in Science: Meet a Mathematician, a Physicist and a Geologist Through Art"
Ada Lovelace Day post on the Scientific American Guest Blog by Maia Weinstock is illustrated with my portrait 'Mme Wu and the Violation of Parity'
Today's Parent interviewed me about my tips for making a successful craft show display. The resulting article appears in the November 2013 issue, page 140
The Austin Chronicle, PrintAustin: Big Medium, Art.Science.Gallery, and Immediatag, Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Jan. 24, 2014 
Why Community is Crucial to Your Success: Etsy Seller Ele Willoughby shares why community is crucial to your success,, posted January 28, 2014 
Find Inspiration From These Women Working With Science In Public, article by Mika McKinnon on, March 8, 2015

Erdős–Bacon Number and Mathematical Genealogy

Paul Erdős (1913 – 1996) was a renowned and prolific Hungarian mathematician, who valued collaboration. Mathematicians and scientists calculate their Erdős number—which measures the "collaborative distance" in authoring academic papers between that person and Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős - just for (very nerdy fun). A person's Bacon number, from the famous game 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' is the number of links, through roles in films, by which someone is separated from American actor Kevin Bacon. Your Erdős–Bacon number is the sum of the two.

 As far as I can tell, my Erdős number is 7. I published with my PhD supervisor R. N. Edwards, who published with his PhD supervisor Edward Crisp Bullard who has a Erdős number of 5 according to MathSciNet (which supplies a free tool for measuring collaboration distance but only checks mathematics publications, and not physics or geophysics). This is an upper bound. There could exist a shorter collaboration distance but I haven't found it.

I have a Bacon Number too. Improbably, I was once on the Tommy Hunter Show, a popular and long-running  Canadian variety show hosted by country singer Tommy Hunter. Since Dolly Parton also appeared on this show (but sadly, not the same episode), I have managed to find a Bacon Number of 4. Dolly Parton appeared in Gnomeo and Julliet with James McAvoy who was in X-Men First Class with Kevin Bacon.

So, I have a Erdős–Bacon Number of 11.

There is also the concept of a Erdős–Bacon-Sabbath Number where you add your degrees of separation from Black Sabbath through musical collaboration. It's possible that I might actually have one of these (as I sang on that Tommy Hunter Show - with a choir). So that would connect me to anyone who appeared on the show, which is actually a large selection of mainly country and western singers. Once you add their collaborations with producers and more, it's possible... but I don't know how to measure this one. There used to be a tool for measuring degrees of separation in music, but it's defunct. 

I am a fan of the Mathematical Genealogy Project. I appeals to my interest in the history of science and  patterns. One day I think I will finally get around to making a art piece based on my academic "genealogy" - the series of doctoral supervisors traced back like a family tree. Some people have multiple supervisors, but here is on of my posible genealogies, with some famous names in the history of science:

E. C. Willoughby (me) → R.N. Edwards  → Edwards Crisp BullardPatrick Maynard Stuart Blackett (Nobel laureate) → Ernest Rutherford (Nobel laureate) → J.J. Thomson (Nobel laureate) → Lord Rayleigh (Nobel laureate) → Edward John RouthWilliam HopkinsAdam SedgwickThomas JonesThomas PostlethwaiteStephen WhissonWalter TaylorRobert SmithRoger CotesSir Isaac Newton

There is also a Physics Tree (a similar academic family tree) which is amazing to explore as it plots all the data it has like a tree. If a person had two superviors, it will trace both back to all other their academic ancestors. On this tree, as well as the illustrious people listed, I can find James Franck (Nobel laureate), Gustav Kirkchoff, Wilhelm Eduard Weber, Hermann von Helmholtz, James Clerk Maxwell, Baron Jöns Jacob Berzelius, William Whewell, Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, Nevil Maskelyne, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Carl Linnaeus, Herman Boerhaave, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Johann Bernouilli and assorted other Bernouillis, Giovanni Domenico Cassini,John Flamsteed, Tycho Brahe, Galileo Galilei, William Harvey, René Descartes, Edmond Halley, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, Johannes Kepler, Nicolaus Copernicus and much more.

Plus, if you include postdocs, I can connect* with scientists whose portraits I've made:  J. Robert OppenheimerGerardus Mercator,Harriet BrookesEmmy NoetherNiels Bohr, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Maryam Mirzakhani, Grace Hopper, Chien-shiung Wu, Wilhelm Röntgen, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Sofia Kovalevski, Marie  Skłodowska Curie, Mildred Spiewak Dresselhaus, Alan Turing, Lise Meitner, Gregor Mendel, Charles David Keeling, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, Louis Pasteur, Caroline (through William) Herschel, Charles Darwin and the inventors of imaginary friends: James Clerk Maxwell inventor of a demon, Pierre-Simon de Laplace inventor of a demon,  René Descartes inventor of a demon and Erwin Schrödinger inventor of dead and alive cat.

Plus, also these (not portrayed scientists): Max Born, John L. von Neumann and (to complete this train of thought and bring it full circle) Paul Erdős.

*These connections are any series of links from supervisor to student or postdoc, back and forward through time.